Child Labour in Viet Nam

Child labour remains a problem in Viet Nam. © ILO/H. Truong

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The opening of the economy has brought in its wake the emergence of new forms and patterns of vulnerability for Viet Nam’s children. Social institutions to address this vulnerability have not kept pace with economic reform. Recent reports indicate a rise in internal migration and the number of displaced and unregistered families and children found in urban centres.

Many children are at risk of labour and sexual exploitation. Children and young people now can also be found in informal work, in arrangements that are unsupervised and unregulated. In these situations, the children, having limited access to education, can neither develop themselves nor have a dignified life. Migrants, ethnic minorities and young girls are among those who require targeted attention.

Viet Nam has laid the foundation for effective and sustainable action against child labour. In November 2000, the Government of Viet Nam ratified the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), and in 2003 the Government ratified the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138). Ratifications signalled to the international community Viet Nam’s commitment and determination to urgently undertake time-bound measures for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour in the country.

With financial support from the US Department of Labor, the ILO is implementing ENHANCE project (Technical Support for Enhancing the National Capacity to Prevent and Reduce Child Labour in Viet Nam) which provides technical support to enhance the national efforts to tackle child labour. Building on the achievements to date, the project is making particular efforts to address child labour in some of priority sectors such as garment, handicrafts, agriculture and fishery sectors. In partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the project engages with a wide range of Government organizations, social partners and civil society in its implementation to build a comprehensive and efficient multi-stakeholder response for the prevention and reduction of child labour in Viet Nam.